It’s easy to go live these days.
Facebook does it.
Instagram does it with a time limit.
Twitter…sorta knows it can?
YouTube is experimenting with subtle differences here and there. Plus there are new apps appearing almost daily to cater to this new media.
But, streaming as a beginner can be a little overwhelming and high expectations too often meet a wall. I started my own channel just last year and while it hasn’t been easy, I’ve made a handful of friends through it.
So, here are my tips for keeping the passion alive while developing your corner of the streamy-hood.
Disclaimer: These tips are more from my experience as a beginner ‘variety’ channel. But, can apply to other styles of Streams as well.
Don’t Sweat the Follower Count
I know, it’s mind boggling to not look at how often that follower count goes up or down with each new cast. In the beginning, that view count will be zero to two to zero.
Unless you happen to have a large following already, chances are high that no one will be watching you … for a while. This is a good time to get comfortable looking deep into the black hole of your webcam and thinking about your posture. When the follow count is low, this is the best time to develop your online persona.
Continue to play your favorite game and narrate what you plan on doing as the stage progresses. Bonus points if you can manage to mention any developer history or facts about the game.
I find it helps to pretend the camera is a good friend that’s asking a question about what I’m doing or how my day has been every minutes. Don’t worry, you’ll get use to it soon.
Focus on a topic rather than a task
Each time you go live, you should have a topic in mind. To stand out in a sea of other gaming channels, you need to come at your audience from a new angle.
One thing that seems to boost channels in categories for a game is the stream title being a “question of the day” or “motivation of the day”. Take a moment to look up a few deep, insightful questions to ask a stranger. This also helps get the chat moving along and you can repeat the question/answer it each time a new viewer pops in.
Practice your stream ritual
What’s your signature move everytime you go live?
I’ve had to think about this for a while too. Do I want to greet my channel members with a high five and a welcome back then recap what we did last week? Or do I jump on, chat for a bit about plans for the month then jump into the game?
Honestly, this should be a habitual thing that occurs when the channel is live. Followers will begin to chant the motto as well if you do it right. Just, don’t steal someone else’s thing. You can borrow inspiration, but it’s generally frowned upon to blatantly copy.
Plan out your outfits for each broadcast
They say a new pair of shoes can change a person’s whole mood. So, why not pick out an outfit that makes you feel Ah-mazing every time. This could even be a signature look for you later on. But, for now just have fun playing with your looks.
I know for me, I love to do my makeup and pull out a fun wig most days.
Share a Broadcast with friends and family
This is probably the hardest thing to do if your shy or not confident about your current channel focus. So, I suggest when sharing a link to your stream to mention, “Hey, I’m trying something on [X]. Feel free to take a peak and let me know what you think about it.”
Building a channel takes time, especially if you don’t have a large following on another social platform to feed from. Take this time to think about what sort of value* you can give to the community and how you can boost your personality from here on out.
Ashnichrist is a Stream Coach for both Twitch and Mixer. Her video on that very topic is a golden rule to stand by.
Make a dedicated stream playlist
This one is a bit tricky as some streaming services have to be careful of copyright strikes for licensed music. So, if you have a spotify account or a source for royalty free music, why not try having that playing in the background while you stream.
It can help set the mood and theme of every stream. Just be sure you can use it otherwise, the past broadcasts audio will be muted.
Curate your offline Feed
Last, but really first, I guess? Think about starting a social account dedicated to your off stream activities.
I can already heard the eye rolls. So, hear me out on this.
Unless your a drafted Professional Gamer or a host for an eSports network, your feed shouldn’t be flooded with games all the time. There should be a balance between a few selfies and actual activities you enjoy doing outside of gaming.
Share plans for events your excited to attend. Snap a few pictures of the cute dog you ran into at the park. Share that fantastic new meal you created out of boredom.
This shows your fan base that not only are you a human that ventures into the public from time to time. You also have an interest in food, shopping, collecting comics, and more. Share what you feel comfortable with being on the internet for all eternity.
And those are my tips for staying optimistic while streaming.
Let me know what some of your optimising boosts are in the comments below. And if you’re looking for more help with streaming, check out Ashnichrist’s new book and her coaching options over on Patreon.